Murray was used as a breeding bull before coming to Farm Animal Rescue, and because of this he was kept in solitary confinement, away from other cattle. Then somehow ended up at a Sunshine Coast animal shelter, who was to auction him off. But the animal lover at the Sunshine Coast shelter, who by chance was given the opportunity to meet Murray, knew she had to make a plea for his life to be spared.
Murray was no doubt destined to be killed.
With such a traumatic past at the hands of humankind, we accepted that when Murray first arrived at sanctuary he had little idea about what life was about, nor did he know how to navigate the herd, make friends and find his place in the world. And he was understandably wary of us. And just like a confused adolescent, so often in those early few weeks, we would find him destructive, destroying fences, escaping and going for long walks alone.
He was searching for his meaning, and he was sad and confused at life so far.
But one day two cows who had arrived at sanctuary heavily pregnant gave birth, and with the arrival of their babies everything changed for Murray. The calves captivated the steer. Suddenly proud and protective, we witnessed Murray watching out for the calves, Sam and Sally, when their mums needed to graze for food. Intrigued and charmed by the new babies, he kept an attentive fatherly eye on the newborns. He had found his purpose.
Since that day, Murray has never left the sanctuary grounds, and was no longer destructive. In that one day he seem to realise that all along the purpose of his life was to protect and care for his herd. Nine years later, Murray at 19 remains a very proud herd leader, and he protects his herd, his family, with Precious, 20, at his side. (until Previous passed away recently).
For some of us, seeing animals like Murray only when they are in the supermarket as a steak or mince makes it easy to forget the gentle natured, curious creature that seeks joy and values their life as much as we do, behind the body parts on the shelves.
Had he not been rescued, Murray would never have discovered being part of a herd, or a family. And we would never has discovered the rich inner world of a steer who loves and engages with his own kind, protects his young, and is inquisitive, thoughtful and emotional. We do not take it lightly that we have the the privilege to care for him in his senior years.
Murray is am ambassador for all cattle in the animal agricultural industry who can display a whole range of characters when given the opportunity to do so. When supporters meet and get to know Murray, a deep connection grows between him and the contents of the trays of meat in the supermarket.
Murray is looking for a sponsor. Someone who can partner us is making sure he has his daily meals and carrots (which he adores), medicine to ease any old age creaks, and a herd to protect until the end of his days. Please click the link in the comments to sponsor Murray, or head to our website under "How to help"